We value our Earth Heritage
We learn about it
We share our knowledge
We promote its environmental value
We protect it from harm
What is our Earth Heritage?
Our Earth Heritage comprises the rocks, soils and landforms that reveal our geological history, determine the diverse habitats in which wildlife can thrive and create the rich landscapes that we all enjoy. It is under threat from human advances and action is needed to understand, preserve and make best use of what we have.
From volcanoes to oceans, from desert to tundra to today’s hills, valleys, rivers and plains the landscape of Herefordshire & Worcestershire has evolved over many millions of years.
Herefordshire & Worcestershire is a particularly special area of the country as so many geological periods are represented, ranging from the ancient rocks of the Malvern Hills (700 million years old) to the ‘recent’ glacial and river deposits in the valleys of the rivers Avon, Severn and Wye. This is our Earth Heritage, and the aim of the trust is to protect and promote it.
You can find out more about Earth Heritage and what it means in Earth Heritage magazine
H&WEHT as the local hub for geology and geo-conservation
Over the years the Trust has become accepted as the primary point of contact in the two counties for geology and geo-conservation. It is an essential part of the extensive national and local network supporting conservation and public awareness in the natural sciences.
As guardians of our Earth Heritage, the trust must engage in diverse core activities, that include maintaining our body of local geological knowledge, discovering and looking after important sites, liaison with local groups and sharing our knowledge through educational activities that engage with the public.
Constant vigilance and action are also needed to ensure that our Earth Heritage is protected by National laws, and that the law is upheld by local policy-making and planning. The trust is active at both national and local levels to ensure that the easily overlooked interests of geoconservation are upheld.
Project work enables us to advance our knowledge in targeted areas of interest and share it with the public. Projects range from hand-on investigation of Ice Age ponds in Herefordshire to the development of apps to bring geology to the millennium generation.
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Sites of geoconservation importance.
An important role of the Trust is to identify and survey geological and geomorphological sites in Herefordshire and Worcestershire. Site visits are essential to monitor the status of existing sites and assess the value of newly discovered ones from a scientific, educational and aesthetic perspective.
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Communication through our website and a series of news bulletins provides support to the public and to members of affiliated groups.
We also provide occasional training courses to members of affiliated groups on specific topics of interest.
Nationwide liaison and local and national policy input
National environmental legislation is constantly changing, so ensuring that geo-conservation concerns are properly supported is a constant battle. The government’s promised 25 year Environmental Plan is based on the concept of Natural Capital: the value of any environmental resource must be assessed if it is to qualify for protection under the law. In early 2020, the Trust supported research to examine the nature of Natural Capital as applied to geodiversity, to ensure that geological Natural Capital can be properly recognised and evaluated across the nation.
The trust maintains good relationships with relevant parties in both Worcestershire and Herefordshire to ensure that geology and landscape are core considerations in all planning policy and decision-making. Attendance at Local Nature Partnerships enables us to keep in touch on a regular basis, while all relevant policy and planning documents are scrutinised for their impact on geoconservation concerns. Where proposed developments pose threats to important geological assets we might oppose the development or seek to mitigate the damage by various means. We also look out for opportunities to learn about newly exposed sites or incorporate geological features or information within educational and recreational restoration initiatives.
Links are maintained with a wide range of bodies to support this work. Find out more